“A lot of the time people think that we’re young, and so it [the domestic violence] can’t be that bad.”

“Over the last year of our 4-year relationship, I cannot begin to count the number of times I attempted to break up with him. When I would try he would threaten the safety of me and my family, or threaten to commit suicide.”

“I stayed because I was afraid. I stayed because I was full of shame and embarrassment. I stayed because I knew I would be judged if people found out the truth.”

As difficult as it is to acknowledge, dating violence can happen to anyone. Even children as young as 12 have reported being assaulted by their date or intimate partner. Each February, we highlight the prevalence of dating violence among teens and work together to raise awareness about our campuses and in our community for National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAM).

Teen dating violence is a community-wide issue that requires youth, parents, schools, organizations, health care providers and entire communities to take intentional and practical steps to reduce the number of young people who are victimized every year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 in 10 teens have been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend over the past year. Although both girls and boys ages 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, girls are especially vulnerable and may experience long-term negative behavioral and health consequences at increased rates (Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs).

1 in 10 teens have been physically abused by a boyfriend or girlfriend over the past year.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

This year, loveisrespect, a collaboration between Break the Cycle and the National Dating Abuse Helpline, launched the #1thing campaign to encourage people to learn one thing about teen dating violence and share that information with a friend. You can use the resources they have developed to promote safe and healthy relationships and raise awareness of TDVAM on your campus and in your community.

Break the Cycle Sharable Social Media Graphics: Break the Cycle has developed a series of social media graphics that share information about the common warning signs of dating abuse and statistics about the number of young people who experience violence by their date. Download these resources here and use #teenDVmonth and #TDVAM20 to join the conversation online.

Break the Cycle Statistics: Break the Cycle has developed two reports that demonstrate the seriousness and prevalence of teen dating violence. Download these resources here.

LBR (Let’s Be Real About Relationships) Warning Signs: It is essential for teens to understand the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship to help prevent dating violence. Download and share this fact sheet that outlines behaviors teens should pay attention to when they are in an intimate relationship:  Warning Signs

loveisrespect Online Support Tools: loveisrespect provides a 24-hour support line for young people who have questions or concerns about their dating relationship. A team of trained advocates is available by chat only, through text messages, and by phone.
Chat at www.loveisrespect.org
Text LOVEIS to 22522*
Call 1-866-331-9474